We’ll never know whether the 4-0 win over West Ham that David Unsworth oversaw as the final act of his spell as interim manager last autumn could have been the platform from which he could have built a steady run of form that would have eased Everton’s relegation concerns or, like the win over Watford that preceded it, it would have been followed more worrying results.
Had he been afforded the next game against Huddersfield at Goodison Park to see if he could deliver another three points, it’s possible that a period of stability might have ensued that would have allowed him to continue at the helm for the rest of the season.
Farhad Moshiri and the Blues’ board clearly felt following the defeats to Atalanta and Southampton that the situation was dire enough to go back to Sam Allardyce and offering him what he wanted and the decision had already been made by the time that game against the Hammers kicked off. To give the West Midlander his due, he fulfilled the brief as expected, with few frills.
The impression at the time was that it was only meant to be a short-term appointment, one that was unpalatable to most of the fans but necessary to get through to May with Premier League safety assured. Allardyce may have another year to run on his deal but it still feels like there is a decision to be made very soon over whether or not he should get to serve it out.
Hence the media speculation over the current manager’s future as Everton prepared for their third to last game of the campaign and Allardyce facing questions over the nature of his meeting with Moshiri in London last Thursday. Allardyce may have been searching for clarity over his position but it’s been evident among what seems to be a majority of Evertonians for a while now. There is no love for the 63-year-old one time England boss and never will be given that he was treated to more chants calling for his ouster even when the Blues were comfortably ahead.
Allardyce has been in this situation before, of course, at Newcastle and West Ham, both clubs with demanding fans who expect a certain way of playing which was not forthcoming under his stewardship. By admitting that, “I can’t honestly do more than I’ve been doing,” to win over supporters he is effectively writing his own P45.
Because if, for example, a 1-0 win over Newcastle at home with a single shot on target, two Merseyside derby performances and home matches against the Manchester clubs almost entirely devoid of attacking intent, and a complete lack of enterprise and adventure at the likes of bottom-dwelling West Brom and Bournemouth at the tail end of 2017 represent the limits of what he can produce by way of a “trial” for the Everton job on a long-term basis, he has fallen well short of this club’s standards.
The unfortunate fact for Allardyce is that we knew what we were getting when we hired him — a Premier League journeyman renowned for righting “listing ships” but who has never won anything in the game as a manager and isn’t ever likely to. He has done his job in terms of stabilising Everton and guiding the club clear of relegation danger but he hasn’t done anything to convince skeptical supporters that he has the ability to take Everton forward next season. The feeling is that, at most, he would oversee another season of thrills-free mediocrity with little chance of challenging the top six.
A 2-0 victory at Huddersfield, the same opposition and scoreline that began Allardyce’s reign back in November, doesn’t change anything in that regard even if it felt like a routine victory over bottom-half opposition. In their quest for a result that would move them further away from the relegation zone, the Terriers controlled most of the possession but were desperately poor in their execution.
Apart from a tame shot by Steve Mounie that Jordan Pickford gathered early on and a better opening that Rajiv van La Parra swept over the bar from 15 yards out, they had little to show for their efforts and the Blues’ defence was largely untroubled.
Everton, meanwhile, carried much of their threat on the counter-attack, trying to capitalise on their hosts’ need to get forward. When they did try and work the ball forward themselves there were the occasional patterns of neat play but, in the first period especially, moves routinely broke down in the final third with an untidy pass or overhit ball.
Cenk Tosun was industrious, Theo Walcott alert and threatening with his pace, and Nikola Vlasic, a surprise inclusion at the expense of Yannick Bolasie, was lively even if his touch betrayed understandable rustiness and he looked off the pace at times, the consequence of too many weeks sitting idly on the sidelines our out of the squad altogether.
As has so often been the case this season, much of the onus for knitting things together and pushing Everton forward fell to Wayne Rooney but he was, frankly, atrocious, once more a baffling source of embarrassingly mis-placed passes from a player so experienced and accomplished. It was no surprise that he was substituted once more before an hour had elapsed.
The Blues’ first shot on target wouldn’t arrive until six minutes before half time but it was a rapier-like move that began with Theo Walcott picking up an errant pass out of the Huddersfield defence in his own half and ended with Tosun firing home his first goal in five matches.
The former Arsenal man fed the Turk with a quick pass between two defenders and he single-mindedly took the ball just inside the area before steering an impressive low shot across Jonas Lossl and inside the far post.
Coming completely against the run of play, it was rough on David Wagner’s side but it was illustrative of the quality that exists in the Everton team but which hasn’t always been harnessed under Allardyce.
With the cushion of the goal, the Blues improved after the interval and Vlasic had the first sight of goal almost immediately after Walcott’s driving run but he fired his low shot down Lossl’s throat.
Seamus Coleman then had two chances to double the lead: first, when he beat the offside trap from Leighton Baines’s free kick but shot meekly at the goalkeeper and then when Vlasic back-heeled smartly to meet the Irishman’s run behind him on the overlap but Lossl made a good save with his leg.
Huddersfield were making errors all over the place as the half progressed but Everton failed to punish them with two or three promising openings on the break going begging. The Terriers were also finding it difficult to create genuine chances of their own but they spurned a good opportunity in the 65th minute when Van La Parra picked out Alex Pritchard but he mis-kicked badly from a central position.
And Everton then made the game safe with 13 minutes left following persistent work by Oumar Niasse down the right flank that ended with him floating a cross to the back side of the area to Baines. His one-touch lay-off found Idrissa Gueye with time and space to line up a shot that he buried with a crisp shot from 20 yards out.
Christopher Schindler had one chance with what would have been a free header with six minutes of the 90 to go but he missed a cross from the right completely while Scott Malone saw an injury time effort deflect wide but it was too little too late for the home side.
Reader Comments (53)
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1 Posted 29/04/2018 at 08:08:44
A good strike from Tosun but rarely when he was clear and in space could we find him. The 2nd goal was a miss-cross from Niasse that, thanks to Baines making the effort to support the strikers, found him.
Pickford rarely finds an Everton player when he kicks long; he just seemed to be kicking long as if to relieve pressure but the ball was just coming straight back. Walcott, except for a couple of goals since his arrival, loses and gives away the ball too often â€“ I can see why Arsenal were willing to let him go.
There lay the problems: all the players Everton have bought except for Tosun and Vlasic, were at a stage in their careers where they weren't getting game time at their previous teams.
2 Posted 29/04/2018 at 08:48:39
All anger should be directed towards the Board!
3 Posted 29/04/2018 at 09:04:54
That said Sam is not the man.
4 Posted 29/04/2018 at 09:20:51
As for yesterday, well that was actually a decent away performance and there really aren't too many things to take issue with regards to fat Sam. Substitutions all worked, solid defensively and looked a threat on the counter.
Agreed completely on Rooney, he really has been totally dire in recent weeks and whilst I was one who welcomed him back, he needs to be either shipped out or used from the bench. I liked Vlasic, looks like he appreciates the bail and wants to protect it and generally makes the right decision, def a player in there and I'd like to see more of him. The continued improvement in form of Schneiderlin is very welcome, no surprise to me as the return of both first choice full backs give him and the team such a better balance and a permanent outlet.
There's still a very solid base of good players at the club for a new manager to work with and build upon. Don't expect miracles with a new coach but we should still be an attractive job for many as even with this current squad, we are, or at least should be better than the rest of the other 14 teams.
5 Posted 29/04/2018 at 09:48:04
However, it is true that any anger should be directed at the Board. They are on the bridge of this moribund ship, seemingly devoid of the charts to guide them to their chosen destination - if they have even identified one. Allardyce is merely the pilot, & it's time to drop him.
6 Posted 29/04/2018 at 09:55:28
7 Posted 29/04/2018 at 10:21:34
8 Posted 29/04/2018 at 10:27:00
But, my two pennies worth is can we afford to get rid of him, don't think the money pit is bottomless... Seem to be paying more for ex manager's now than we where on player's three years ago .
Great result yesterday, and hopefully it'll carry on over the next two game's, and then into the start of next season, a bit like Leicester a few season's back...
9 Posted 29/04/2018 at 10:38:43
Everybody would have taken 8th position after the Southampton away match.
Now that he has done his job the question must be “Is he the right man to take us forward for the next 3 seasons +?â€
Sam may think it is harsh, but he isn't really what we need going forward. We need to have something more . A winner, someone who with a bit of quality recruitment and timely introductions of our youth can move us onto the next stage.
Sam is mid 60s, been in the game a long time and specialised in fire fighting and managing low /mid table clubs.
He has his limitations, he has never won anything after all these years. He has earned his spurs generally playing middle of the park elbow football. Is that what we want to watch for the next 3 seasons?
It's time for the club to take the plunge, say thank you and good bye.
10 Posted 29/04/2018 at 10:42:14
"There was not much to love or fear about the visitors early on. Everton had a lot of the ball but advanced with the joy and pizzazz of a chain gang. One could understand why Evertonians complain that watching their team can feel like serving a sentence.
11 Posted 29/04/2018 at 10:48:46
Strange how Shearer wasn't so quick to offer public support when fans of his 'beloved' Newcastle were calling for Allardyce's head and he was widely believed to be the man waiting in the wings to take over, turning up week after week to wave from his executive box but never saying a word to quell the speculation.
12 Posted 29/04/2018 at 10:54:01
The irony of the situation is that this hated manager has orchestrated the garnering of that treasure chest by his efforts whilst in charge.
Funny game, football !
13 Posted 29/04/2018 at 11:07:40
My take on the situation is a simple one,in that whereas I agree entirely with the tactical/personal and anylitical debates over SA,(and I do think they are spot-bloody-well on),I still find as with so many beefs over our Club,that fans are still mostly throwin' stones at the monkey(s) and not the organ grinders.
On saying that though I suppose after 23 years of abject financialy injected failure we are where we are.
I only wish the "Collective" venom and vitriol on these sites,and nay (!) even the threat of 'organised protests'
plus of course the recent steady stream of conscice editorial comments that have flowed out of the volcano of scorn for the present situation(s)been used more abundantly in the past,against the precurser of ALL of our present shit,namely our hopefully to be ousted Chairman Mr.William Kenwright.
On another note,i, like so many others have renewed my season ticket hoping for finally a path/track that may lead us down a Blue bricked road.
There will be no ITK's forecasting that one I bet !
14 Posted 29/04/2018 at 11:07:42
15 Posted 29/04/2018 at 11:59:06
At the start of this season, Everton were absolutely shocking. Definites for relegation. We were not just getting beat, but often we capitulated. Several games saw us ship multiple goals â€“ shambolic. The Board had put their money in but, for various reasons, the players they had invested in were struggling, and the 25-goal-a-season man had left.
For over a month, no-one stepped forward. Unsworth to his credit did but was out of his depth. His later games saw a 5-1 home defeat against Atalanta and 4-1 away defeat against a team that remain in the bottom three.
So we got Allardyce. He stepped up, did a job, steadied the ship, and turned the players we had into a unit. Is it attractive? - no! But no-one can work miracles in the 22 or so games he's had.
The sad thing about Evertonians is they don't get behind their team like many other clubs. They are happy to join in pitching stones at their own that just makes us a laughing stock. â€˜Supporter' is someone who supports their team. We are worse than the opposition!
16 Posted 29/04/2018 at 12:51:52
17 Posted 29/04/2018 at 13:12:32
19 Posted 29/04/2018 at 14:08:22
"Everton went into the weekend 19th out of the 20 clubs in the Premier League when it comes to the number of shots they have managed on Allardyce's watch, 19th in terms of efforts on target, 19th in chances created and 19th for attempted dribbles."
There's no spin that can make that football look or sound good. It's soul-destroying and poor to watch.
That said; there's no way Moshiri will sack him before the season is out and have to either promote Unsworth again or pay another manager (4th in one season) to take the reigns. I suspect he'll be told to go quietly the week after the season ends.
21 Posted 29/04/2018 at 18:53:17
I'm sure many fans who don't want Allardyce here next season are embarrassed at the 'spawn of the devil' mob vitriol that has been apparent among some fans recently. He has done what he is good at doing. He focuses on details, gets the team playing tightly, motivated and playing the percentages.
Hopefully we can get a manager who can take things from here. One who matches more fans aspirations. But the big question is who? The silence is tumbleweed-like from many who spit the bile.
22 Posted 29/04/2018 at 18:57:50
23 Posted 29/04/2018 at 19:30:55
Thanks to the pointer to the article. Made me re-evaluate . A lot of truth in it.
24 Posted 29/04/2018 at 22:22:05
We are a laughing stock because we have Evertonians who think that Allardyce is not contemptable.
25 Posted 29/04/2018 at 22:46:01
I guarantee you all another thing also. If West Ham had beaten us on that night in question versus West Ham the same editor and the same fans would be blaming Sam Allardyce for the loss. It really is pathetic, the barrel scraping for sly digs at Allardyce that is going on right now. Allardyce is no Guardiola but he has helped the club away from a relegation dogfight.
Who gives a rat's arse if it hasn't been pretty? It has been effective enough. You all suffered 11 years of Moyes without this much whining.
Wether you like it or not, the 4-0 win over West Ham is on the CV of Sam Allardyce. If any of you think Unsworth was worth sticking with back in November I fear for this club I really do.
26 Posted 30/04/2018 at 02:11:41
Now, you have no shame in claiming the 4-0 West Ham win for him, even though, as we reported on the night:
"David Unsworth is to take charge of this evening's match against West Ham United, his last task in charge of first-team affairs before Allardyce takes over." — Emphasis added, as they say, in case you are having trouble digesting this one. I can't make it any clearer.
Why would you change the narrative now, five months down the road? Do you think we are so simple-minded that we have forgotten? Or are you as desperate as your hero is to bend the truth in an attempt to bamboozle those who can see very clearly what he is doing to this club?
And by the by... for the record, I got into a lot of trouble with the Site WebMaster for my too vehement disparaging of Our Former Manager (Moyes) long before the snake fooled everyone in his final traitorous season with us.
Heck, you've suddenly become such an advocate of pragmatism — maybe you were one of his strongest supporters back then?
27 Posted 30/04/2018 at 02:42:37
It truely is a remarkable evolution, for someone who would constantly call out supporters for supporting “Dour Davieâ€ and say how horrible the football was, that he wouldn't win ya trophies, to now come on here and constantly sing the praises of Allardyce and his zombie football. Wow, we beat Huddersfield, what an accomplishment. Surely he should be appointed on a five year contract in your eyes.
Go on, as you lecture us for simply stating the obvious in regard to how horrible the football is, be honest and say whether you want Allardyce to be signed to an extension. Surely you don't believe it good practice to leave the man to enter next season with only one year on his contract. He must be backed in your eyes, correct? Sam Allardyce, the man to restore Everton to glory, so says Tony Marsh. I fear for your emotional well being when the club finally sends the man out to pasture.
28 Posted 30/04/2018 at 03:03:34
A hypothetical statement which I'll happily dismiss as groundless bollocks.
29 Posted 30/04/2018 at 03:04:22
30 Posted 30/04/2018 at 03:05:33
Ask that question back when he was appointed and the answer would have been different. Not because the club was any different but because of the stage of the season and who was available. Perhaps we could have made a better appointment back then? Given that he has achieved the brief of turning around the form in relation to results I think his appointment can be viewed as a reasonable decision given the availability of suitable alternatives.
There is a whole back-story that of course we all know about, the bodged transfers, Koeman losing it .but those were symptoms, sometimes the medicine doesn't taste nice but you still need to take it
As some posters have said, we should be grateful in some way to Sam for his efforts. As easy as it is for us to come on to the forums and bash what he has done or what he has said the job of a football manager isn't without its stresses and evidently isn't child's play. In recent seasons we have seen Mourinho, Wenger, Rodgers, Van Gaal, Conte and Raneri all fall from lofty positions. These are guys with undoubted pedigree and shows it's not just child's play. He took over a club in a bad patch and did what was required. Fair enough.
What he doesn't do for me is give the spoon full of sugar. His interviews and pressers are filled with self promoting twaddle. He dresses pragmatic performances up as dominant displays, and the fans are not stupid.
Back to the question, and at this point you would have to say yes, the club could appoint a better candidate for the job. Its the end of the season and there are coaches currently without jobs who could fit the bill and the potential to prise a manager away from a role with another club is greater when not during the earlier stages of a season. The club is also 8th now, not 19th!! (Thanks, Sam!)
And as much as people say that the squad isn't good enough, its perfectly good enough to have at least matched last years league position. Sam has proved that. Under his tenure we are 6th in league form I believe? Making the step to challenge the top 6 would have always required more money and signings than what was spent over the past 2 years. I very much doubt that Moshiri thought at the beginning of this season that we would be troubling City at the top without having a primary striker!!
In summary, pay him off his last years salary, see it as a bonus. He has come in and done his bail out job, well done him. But now we need a different coach to kick us on. The football has to improve. Likely we will finish 6th or 7th again nest season, there is no reason we cannot do so by at least having some decent performances!!
31 Posted 30/04/2018 at 04:10:28
Allardyce patently cannot do both, we will have go through a number of coaches until one can match those demands.
Really is time the board, media and fans stop trying to turn back the sea with dated autocratic managers at best stand still.
32 Posted 30/04/2018 at 05:31:33
But I do believe you have to play some football to move into the top 5 or 6.
I don't dislike shit football because it's not entertaining. I dislike it because it doesn't get you beyond about, erm, 8th. And yes, it's not particularly entertaining either. Finishing mid table and being a cup irrelevance each year is bad enough without the games being dull too.
What are we looking forward to?
33 Posted 30/04/2018 at 06:21:23
So if our manager is saying this is as fit as he can get them, then surely that in itself is admitting he can't improve their performance levels any further. As we expect our team to progress incrementally year on year, that in itself is reason enough to dispense with the current incumbent and bring in a coach who can lift our players' fitness levels to a standard that will allow them to challenge the clubs placed above us in the league.
His words condemn him and us to never ending mediocrity. Do we want more? Yes, Sam, we do! 9
34 Posted 30/04/2018 at 07:15:38
I don't have the interest to see conflicts between the Marsh position now compared to the past. But I am interested how he seems to have a disproportionate number of references in posts (inc. this one) on TW.
I think the reason is how he works on TW. He has a quick think, adopts a position, criticises those with other views and stubbornly sticks to his position regardless of any new emerging evidence such as SA sticking to football that was still dour & unexperimental after safety was secured
This enables him to adopt a wise oracle all on his own persona and as more people disagree, so he will use phrases like "I guarantee you all..." or "If any of you think..." as above.
I love the smell of burning martyr!
35 Posted 30/04/2018 at 09:19:45
Like it of not Sm Allardyce has earned a crack at next season.This squad is not his but our form since Sam took over is top 6 form. Why should Allardyce be treated like a scabby dog because the football isn't wonderous??.
Can you magine how bad it would of been last season under Hollywood Ron without the Lukaku goals.Two away wins all of last season has already been surpassed by Sam Allardyce!!! Please all you football experts out there enlighten me as to when the football we last played was scintillating edge of your seat stuff.
Take the Romalu Lukaku goals away from the last 3 seasons before Sam Allardyce and it would of been absolutely shite watching Everton. You all seem to think we were like Man City before the arrival of Allardyce. We have been awfull to watch for years. Some of the capitulations last season were as bad as anything under Allardyce yet we're was the outpouring of venom then?
In an Ideal world one the dellusional names being bandied about would be manager but the truth is no one wanted he job last year.If Motes was allowed 12 years in charge surely a man who saved us from relegation should be afforded 12 months.It the decent thing to do isn't it.?
By the way Sam Allardyce has never been charged with or banned for any criminal offences.
37 Posted 30/04/2018 at 10:29:28
38 Posted 30/04/2018 at 10:32:50
Like it or not, Sam Allardyce has earned a crack at next season. This squad is not his but our form since Sam took over is top 6 form. Why should Allardyce be treated like a scabby dog because the football isn't wonderous??
Can you magine how bad it would've been last season under Hollywood Ron without the Lukaku goals? Two away wins all of last season has already been surpassed by Sam Allardyce!!! Please all you football experts out there, enlighten me as to when the football we last played was scintillating edge-of-your-seat stuff.
Take the Romalu Lukaku goals away from the last 3 seasons before Sam Allardyce and it would've been absolutely shite watching Everton. You all seem to think we were like Man City before the arrival of Allardyce. We have been awful to watch for years. Some of the capitulations last season were as bad as anything under Allardyce yet where was the outpouring of venom then?
In an Ideal world, one of the delusional names being bandied about would be manager but the truth is no-one wanted the job last year. If Moyes was allowed 11 years in charge surely a man who saved us from relegation should be afforded another 12 months. It is the decent thing to do isn't it?
By the way, Sam Allardyce has never been charged with or banned for any criminal offences.
39 Posted 30/04/2018 at 13:56:17
I would like Brendan Rodgers as manager. He knows the league, his football style is entertaining and I think he has a point to prove. His links to the RS would soon be forgotten if he delivers the goods.
40 Posted 30/04/2018 at 15:34:26
41 Posted 30/04/2018 at 16:00:22
One of the reasons Howe didn't settle at Burnley was his missus hated it up North. No chance Eddie is leaving the South coast again mate. If Dyche wants his stab at Europe who is there to take over and risk there reputation @ Fraggle Rock.??
Allardyce is by no means the Ideal manager but at this present moment in time I can't see anyone better to take over. I agree the football has been shocking under Sam but we aren't an elite club. We are a survival club with a board run by Muppets.
Some fans on here and out there are not living in the real world. Still quoting School of Science and Nil Satis nonesense which to me is a by gone era. As much relevance these days as the British Empire.
42 Posted 30/04/2018 at 21:33:49
43 Posted 30/04/2018 at 21:42:29
44 Posted 30/04/2018 at 21:47:30
Dogs of war wasn't pretty either but I never heard anyone complain about It back then because it kept us up and yielded a trophy.
45 Posted 30/04/2018 at 21:53:39
As fans on TW and at large are saying to the point of tedium; they want more than turgid shite. Winning and entertainment being top of the list. Muppets the board may be but they are somewhat rich muppets. You say you can't see anyone better but I'm sure even Mrs Howe would stop whipping her husband for the chance to earn the kind of money Big Sam simply isn't at this 'survival club'.
46 Posted 30/04/2018 at 22:03:13
47 Posted 01/05/2018 at 07:57:37
What do I know mate I'm just a long suffering supporter and I keep hearing calls for us to sack our third manager in as many seasons. Jeezus we've become an absolute joke.
If allardyce is sacked were on our 4th manager in 4 seasons.
No wonder nobody wanted to step forward in October.
48 Posted 01/05/2018 at 08:18:30
49 Posted 01/05/2018 at 08:30:11
50 Posted 01/05/2018 at 16:04:56
If we can now get Silva in for nothing, I'd say job well done.
51 Posted 01/05/2018 at 16:10:32
52 Posted 01/05/2018 at 16:14:32
53 Posted 01/05/2018 at 16:21:34
55 Posted 01/05/2018 at 16:39:42
That gobshite Durham on Talksport is milking it and asking "Have Everton supporters got it wrong?"
56 Posted 01/05/2018 at 17:11:05
Allardyce needs no thanking as he is being massively overpaid. He's getting some results which matters most I suppose but fuck, it's hard to watch.
The board are the people letting us down because having Allardyce at the club is hard enough given his background in the sport but the thought of him being here next season is just painful.
He simply is not for this club whether he gets results or not. It would take a few away wins at the likes of Anfield, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge to win us over and we are all more likely to win the lottery than that happening.
We should appoint a new manager and put Sam on maintenance duties at Finch Farm or somewhere with the view that if it goes tits up he will be brought back in. That's not sa bad compromise!
57 Posted 01/05/2018 at 17:14:00
Manchester City fans are revelling in Premier League title glory, Wolves supporters are relishing a return to the top flight and the Accrington Stanley faithful are in raptures after watching their team secure a place in the third tier for the first time.
Following these clubs is an absolute joy at the minute, so perhaps their supporters should spare a thought for the fans whose teams have brought them nothing but misery this seasonâ€¦
Everton fans are well aware that they haven't snagged silverware in more than two decades. So, when Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri purchased a majority stake in the club in 2016, nobody could blame them for feeling a collective pang of optimism. Finally, the blue half of Merseyside was equipped with the resources to compete with big-spending neighbours Liverpool.
Fast-forward two years and it's all gone horribly wrong. Ronald Koeman paid the price for poor recruitment with his sacking in October 2017, a team largely comprised of failed signings is chasing shadows across the Goodison pitch, and a weather-beaten Sam Allardyce sits on the throne of an empire in turmoil.
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